SF Bay Area officials order nearly 7 million people to ‘shelter in place’

San Francisco Bay space officers unveiled Monday what may be probably the most aggressive and restrictive measures within the nation but to curb the unfold of the coronavirus.

Northern California officers introduced a “shelter in place” order that can have an effect on almost 7 million residents of six counties within the Bay Area because the area tries to include the COVID-19 outbreak.

The order asks all residents of six Bay Area counties, together with San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda, to stay dwelling as a lot as doable. It takes impact at midnight and can final till April 7, the order says.

“We know these measures will significantly disrupt people’s day-to-day lives, but they are absolutely necessary,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed mentioned. “This is going to be a defining moment for our city and we all have a responsibility to do our part to protect our neighbors and slow the spread of this virus by staying at home unless it is absolutely essential to go outside.”

Residents can go away their properties below “limited circumstances,” in keeping with the order. At such occasions, individuals are anticipated to stay six toes aside, wash their palms, cowl their coughs or sneezes and abide by numerous different necessities. 

“You will still be able to walk your dog or go on a hike alone, or with someone you live with, or even with another person as long as you keep six feet between you,” San Francisco well being officer Dr. Grant Colfax mentioned at a information briefing.

While the order will shutter companies throughout the area, officers emphasised that important companies like grocery shops and pharmacies will stay in operation and that the order is not going to strictly confine individuals to their properties. Officials added that eating places will stay open for supply and takeout. 

Colfax added that anybody who leaves the county whereas the order is in place, apart from important journey, “would be out of compliance coming back.”

“We’re going to take a compassionate, common-sense approach,” Chief of San Francisco police William Scott mentioned. “We’re asking the public to voluntarily comply. Now, this order by law is enforceable as a misdemeanor, or failure to comply with it, but that is an absolute last resort.”

San Francisco reported 40 confirmed COVID-19 instances as of Monday morning, in keeping with the county’s division of well being. Neighboring Santa Clara and San Mateo counties have reported 114 and 41 confirmed instances, respectively. In complete, the Bay Area’s collective confirmed instances is greater than half of California’s complete case rely, the counties mentioned in an announcement.

Across California, there are greater than 470 confirmed instances, in keeping with Johns Hopkins University.

“While the goal is to limit groups congregating together in a way that could further spread the virus, it is not complete social shut down,” Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County’s Public Health Officer, mentioned in an announcement. “You can still complete your most essential outings or even engage in outdoor activity, so long as you avoid close contact.”

COVID-19 has contaminated greater than 4,200 individuals throughout the nation, in keeping with Johns Hopkins’ information, and killed at the very least 74 individuals. Nearly half of all confirmed instances within the nation are concentrated in three notably hard-hit states: Washington, California and New York.

The order comes after a number of states announced harsh social distancing measures meant to curb the spread of the virus. The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, citing “a lack of federal direction and nationwide standards,” introduced Monday they’ve agreed to collectively scale back density all through the area, closing film theaters and limiting public gatherings to fewer than 50 individuals.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan introduced comparable measures later Monday calling the step “unprecedented.” Separately, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee mentioned Monday he signed an emergency declaration quickly shutting down bars, eating places and different locations of recreation statewide. He additionally banned public gatherings of greater than 50 individuals.

“Never since World War II have we faced a situation like this,” Inslee mentioned. “For the next several weeks, normal is not in our game plan.” 

Read CNBC’s live updates to see the latest news on the COVID-19 outbreak.

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